Archive: Issue No. 66, February 2003

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DURBAN
01.02.03 'Lost and Found' - an installation by Terry Kurgan at DAG
01.02.03 KwaZulu-Natal Schools Art Exhibition 2003 at DAG

PIETERMARITZBERG
16.01.03 Gladys Mgudlandlu Retrospective at the Tatham
DURBAN

Terry Kurgan

Terry Kurgan
installation view of 'Lost and Found' at the
Johannesburg Civic gallery, 2000


'Lost and Found' - an installation by Terry Kurgan at DAG

'Lost and Found' won Terry Kurgan the prestigious Vita Art Prize in the year 2000. A photographic installation of large-scale digital prints onto silk organza it broke new ground for Kurgan in her search to give material form to subjective experiences of familial relationships. Kurgan's interest in memory and desire, and the relationship between visual records and absence is aptly registered in these diaphanous sheets that both hold and dissolve the images.

For Kurgan family photographs, as much as they are visual reminders that secure the immortality and prominence of the subject in the mind of the viewer, they are also an inventory of mortality. Such images behold the tension between the past and the present, between a past that exists in the present and a past that is forever gone. They represent the impossibility of the desire to hold, or contain, some concrete reminder of present experience, as they are tied so precisely to a particular moment that they are always simultaneously a record of something or someone no longer there.

The images in the exhibition are from the 1950s and 1960s - when cameras became commonplace. They are typical of those first colour photographs in that very particular Kodak colour of that era. Kurgan says that she "wanted them to feel as though they could belong to anybody and close to the childhood of most people looking at them today". She also wanted "to avoid the nostalgic and sentimental associations one might have with the older, more formal studio portraits" and instead wanted them to resonate "with the sense that for a split second the photographed subjects were the centre of somebody's (the photographer's) universe".

Some of the images shown were found among Kurgan's parents' collection of old family photographs, the ones that never made it into the albums. Others belong to extended family members and friend's families or are anonymous photographs found in second-hand shops.

The artist, who is based in Johannesburg, will be giving a walkabout of the exhibition on Thursday February 6 at 9:30 a.m.

Opens: February 5 at 6:00pm
Closes: March 30

Durban Art Gallery, 2nd floor, City Hall, Smith Street
Tel: 031 311 2262
Fax: 031 311 2273
Website: www.durban.gov.za/museums/artgallery
Hours: Mon - Sat 8.30am - 4pm, Sun 11am - 4pm


Nxumalo

Sandile Nxumalo
The Framed face, 2002
beads and wood


KwaZulu-Natal Schools Art Exhibition 2003 at DAG

The latest crop of Art Matriculants work can be seen at DAG this month. The annual KwaZulu-Natal Schools Art Exhibition affords the public and schools the opportunity to see a broad range of art, craft and design produced last year in the province's state schools. Although a number of schools have closed their Art Departments over the past few years, Art still remains a viable school subject with 1640 candidates entering for the KZN Senior Certificate Art Examination in 2002.

Drawing is currently compulsory for all learners, as well as a specialisation in one of a wide range of art disciplines. This is reflected in the exhibits that include drawing, fabric printing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, jewellery design, digital design, printmaking, fashion design, and beadwork. Learners are encouraged to be original and to find new, creative ways of solving visual art problems.

Opens: February 5
Closes: March 2

Durban Art Gallery, 2nd floor, City Hall, Smith Street
Tel: 031 311 2262
Fax: 031 311 2273
Website: www.durban.gov.za/museums/artgallery
Hours: Mon - Sat 8.30am - 4pm, Sun 11am - 4pm

PIETERMARITZBURG

Gladys Mgudlandlu

Gladys Mgudlandlu
Xhosa Fairy Tale, 1970
Oil


Gladys Mgudlandlu Retrospective at the Tatham

Gladys Mgudlandlu was one of the first black women in South Africa to exhibit her work publicly. Born in 1925, in Peddie in the former Ciskei, to a family of Methodist Episcopal missionaries, Mgudlandlu was self-taught. Trained as a teacher and a nurse, she painted at night in her two-roomed house in Nyanga.

A painter of landscapes, flora and fauna and genre scenes of everyday life she had several exhibitions during the sixties in Cape Town and Durban, winning an award in 'Art South Africa Today' in 1963. She wrote her own African folk tales, inspired by those told to her by her grandmother, and intended to publish them together with accompanying illustrations.

Known for her direct painting style, Mgudlandlu's work has an immediacy that seems to infuse the objects and places depicted with an almost mythic energy. She died in 1979.

Opening: January 28
Closing: March 2

Tatham Art Gallery, corner Longmarket Street and Commercial Road
Tel: (033) 342 1804/01
Email: bell@tatham.org.za
Hours: Tues - Sun 10am - 6pm

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